126 F.Supp. 620 (D.D.C. 1955), CR. 509-54, United States v. Hall

Docket Nº:CR. 509-54
Citation:126 F.Supp. 620
Party Name:United States v. Hall
Case Date:January 10, 1955
Court:United States District Courts, District of Columbia

Page 620

126 F.Supp. 620 (D.D.C. 1955)



Norman H. HALL et al.

Cr. No. 509-54.

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

Jan. 10, 1955

Leo A. Rover, U. S. Atty., Frederick G. Smithson, Asst. U. S. Atty., Washington, D. C., for plaintiff.

George E. C. Hayes, William B. Bryant, Curtis P. Mitchell, Henry Lincoln Johnson, Jr., Washington, D. C., for defendants.

LAWS, Chief Judge.

Defendants have filed various motions before trial to suppress evidence and return property, to suppress arrest warrants, for statement of witnesses and to inspect documents, and for severance.

Certain arrest and search warrants were issued on the basis of an affidavit by police officers describing their observations of a number of persons and premises begun because of reliable information received that defendant Hall was using a 1949 Ford Sedan to pick up numbers. With respect to the search warrant for the premises 2001 1/2 18th Street, N.W., a barber shop, the following course of conduct was established by surveillance: Hall would enter and leave several other premises, staying only a few minutes in each place, at a time when numbers bets are customarily picked up; his pockets would be bulging; he would enter the barber shop, take slips of paper from the drawer of a cabinet therein, place them in his pocket, and leave with pocket bulging; he was later seen to receive or transfer a paper bag to another, to pick up a known numbers operator, and to enter or

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leave a known numbers drop. The observation of the slips of paper picked up in the barber shop, when they are not the stock in trade of that type of business, was sufficient to show taint of the premises and to establish probable cause for the search of the barber shop and the arrest of John Doe No. 2, defendant Williams, who had been seen placing slips in the drawer. At the hearing, defendants offered testimony in the nature of a defense of alibi and pointed to certain alleged inconsistencies between statements in this affidavit and the affidavits in three other cases. The Court does not find this testimony sufficiently impeaches the credibility of the officers or the truthfulness of their affidavit to indicate lack of probable cause for the issuance of the search warrant for premises 2001 1/2 18th Street, N.W.

However, where there is probable cause to search a place because of the activities of a...

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